• Herbalism,  Recipe,  Spring

    Make Your Own: Lilac Syrup

    Some readers know that two years ago I started my journey with studying herbalism (more reasons why I’m doing that on that post) but I decided last month that, given the current world situation, now may be a better time than ever to go past “beginner” and take my studies to the next level with an intermediate course of study. I guess joke’s on me a little bit– hoping I’d get to “enjoy” the lock-down life because despite the pandemic I have been absolutely busy with normal things and really have to try hard (between work, cooking, garden, the necessary relaxation necessary to enjoy life) to study three subjects again……

  • Budějovice,  Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Milestones,  South Bohemia,  Spring,  Travel

    May, Lately + More Thoughts of Traveling “These Days”

    What a beautiful spring we are having this year! Unlike other years where it’s been like winter winter winter SUMMER and maybe one week of spring temperatures, we’ve really seen spring this year. April has been full of warm days and sun, trickling into May, even though we’re in a couple days of a cold snap right now (a good excuse to sit down and write something), I have really been enjoying it (ughhh, I probably say this every year, so here it is). I just actually learned about the days May 12-14 here called the “days of the ice men” (Ledoví muži). This is because those days are the…

  • Germany,  Travel,  TravelTips

    Our Germany Travel Wish Lists

    The Corona Age is heralding in a new phase of travel — domestic and local. No longer are we dreaming of going abroad this summer (okay, maybe just a little as there are rumors of the borders to Austria and Slovakia opening by July in some capacity – eyes are peeled) but it seems much safer, if you’re planning to do any travel this summer, to make that trip one of a local variety. What a great opportunity to start dreaming of places to go, then? My imagination had already started running wild when I made the 8 Places on my Czech Republic Wish List. But then Heather, a former…

  • Czech Republic,  Easter,  Minimalism,  Spring,  Thoughts

    On Silencing the Noise

    If there’s anything that has come of this whole self-isolation (today, April 20th being Day 38 for me), it’s that I envy the heck out of people’s sunny backyards and garden spaces. I am ever so grateful to live in a flat with a nice balcony, but not having my own outdoor space is a hard pill to swallow during these times. I suppose it’s inevitable when you want to do and see everything, when you want to live everywhere. I was lucky enough to grow up with a huge backyard at my disposal. In the nicer months, there wasn’t a day I wasn’t out there. I never realized until…

  • Czech Republic,  Travel,  TravelTips

    What My Czech Republic Travel List Looks Like These Days

    And no… I’m not going to call it my Czech list. It’s been interesting to see that different people are coping with this pandemic situation in different ways. Some people are writing and communicating a lot more than usual. Some people prefer not to mention it and have pretty much stopped posting on social media. Everyone’s confused. Nobody knows how to plan anything anymore. I mean, when this headline came out (“Czech borders could be closed as long as two years”) came out earlier last week, many of us were bummed. Upon discussion with a few other people about this terrible two year announcement, most people think that the borders…

  • Czech Republic,  Life Abroad,  Spring,  Thoughts

    Surviving March, Pt. II: Embracing #MaskLife

    Well, that escalated quickly. From the time I published the my last post on March 11th, the day after the first of our emergency measures (which was the school closure announcement), only ten days ago, the situation in the world has devolved rapidly (I predict ten days from now at the end of the month, we’ll be able to say that once more, sadly). No longer are people even speaking about traveling (and if they are, they shouldn’t be). I have since learned new Czech words necessary to understand for everyday life that I haven’t had to know before, like vláda (governance), nouzový stav (emergency measure), and omezení (restriction). Where…

  • Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  Travel,  TravelTips,  Winter

    Surviving March + Thoughts on Traveling “These Days”

    Ahoj, friends. I spent much of February reading the novel, Station Eleven. I didn’t know what it was about at all when I picked it up as it was part of a book club, but man — this one was a doozy! It dealt with the topic of a worldwide influenza pandemic (not a spoiler) and really got me thinking about what I would do if the same situation happened to us now. Every night I would read a little bit before going to bed, wake up and read the news and feel like it was all starting to blur together. The timing of this read was all a bit…

  • Herbalism,  Lifestyle,  Minimalism,  Spring

    Growing a Tiny Garden Anywhere

    I’ve always wanted to grow my own herbs and vegetables… but I don’t truly believe in the term “green thumb”. I think anyone can garden if, and only if they truly care enough about it and try as hard as they can and put in the time to do it well. Just like caring about how the food tastes and looks makes you a better cook almost automatically. If you are patient, have keen attention to detail about what your plants like or don’t like and are proactive, you can garden. Gardening makes us self-sufficient. It is a natural companion for people who love to cook (or who, at least,…

  • czech culture,  Czech Republic,  Daily Life,  South Bohemia,  Teaching

    Czech School Curiosities

    What a month! In the middle of February, it was supposed to have been our half-term break week, but several months ago we agreed to teach most of the week at a primary school waaaay out in the countryside, about an hour from where we live. I mean, we didn’t really have any plans and we have an ambitious travel year ahead, so why not? The wind storm Sabine which ripped through Central Europe made it impossible to start teaching there on Monday as absolutely no trains or buses were leaving the city, but for most of this week we were up on the early train north. Although Alex isn’t…

  • Czech Republic,  Prague,  TravelTips,  Winter

    Valentine’s Day in Prague

    Even though this is my eighth winter in the Czech Republic, I still have never spent Valentine’s Day in Prague before. Valentine’s Day isn’t even the traditional Czech “day of love” (that would be the 1st of May) but you can’t deny that it is certainly has completely caught on! I know it’s a divisive day, with the main criticism that it is too commercialized, but my feeling is that it is whatever you want it to be. And who doesn’t love a chance to go celebrate a day of love and togetherness with someone special? After working (even during our half-term break! More on that in the next post…)…